Henry Stephenson

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Henry Stephenson
Henry Stephenson in Little Women trailer.jpg
in the trailer for
Little Women (1933)
BornHarry Stephenson Garraway
(1871-04-16)16 April 1871
Grenada, British West Indies
Died24 April 1956(1956-04-24) (aged 85)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Resting place
Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, New York
Years active1901–52
Spouse(s)Ann Shoemaker (19??-1956; his death); 1 child
 
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See Henry Kenyon Stephenson for the British politicians and business owners; see a Henry Frederick Stephenson for Admiral and explorer Sir H. F. Stephenson
Henry Stephenson
Henry Stephenson in Little Women trailer.jpg
in the trailer for
Little Women (1933)
BornHarry Stephenson Garraway
(1871-04-16)16 April 1871
Grenada, British West Indies
Died24 April 1956(1956-04-24) (aged 85)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Resting place
Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, New York
Years active1901–52
Spouse(s)Ann Shoemaker (19??-1956; his death); 1 child

Henry Stephenson (16 April 1871 – 24 April 1956), born Harry Stephenson Garraway, was a British stage and film actor. He portrayed friendly and wise gentlemen in many films of the 1930s and 1940s. Among his roles were Sir Joseph Banks in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) and Mr. Brownlow in Oliver Twist (1948).

Life and career[edit]

Harry Stephenson Garraway was born to British parents in Grenada, British West Indies and educated in England. He started acting in his twenties.[1] He appeared on British and American stages and made his Broadway debut in 1901, playing the messenger in A Message from Mars. In the following decades, he appeared in more than 30 Broadway plays.[2]

Stephenson made his film debut in 1917 and appeared in a few silent films, but made his mark mostly as an elder man in sound films. Between 1931 and 1932, he appeared in the successful Broadway play Cynara with over 200 performances. He came to Hollywood for the film version of Cynara, starring Ronald Colman and with Henry Stephenson in a supporting role. In the same year year, he played the tycoon C.B. Gaerste in Red-Headed Woman and Doctor Alliott in A Bill of Divorcement. In 1933, he appeared as Mr. Laurence in Little Women. He specialized in portraying wise, dignified and friendly British gentlemen in supporting roles.[3]

He appeared overall in 90 films from 1917 to 1951. He often played historical figures like Sir Joseph Banks in the Oscar-winning adventure film Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) and Florimond Claude, Comte de Mercy-Argenteau in Marie Antoinette (1938).[3]

Stephenson worked with film star Errol Flynn in the films Captain Blood, The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Prince and the Pauper, and The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, often as Flynn's paternal friend and superior. He portrayed Sir Thomas Lancing in Tarzan Finds a Son! in 1939, Sir Guy Henderson in Tarzan and the Amazons in 1945.[3]

He seldom played dark figures, among the exceptions was the snobbish Mr. Bryant in Mr. Lucky in 1943. Stephenson also appeared in literary adaptions, for example as the friendly lawyer Havisham in Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936) and as Mr. Brownlow in David Lean's literature adaption Oliver Twist (1948). He made his last film in 1949, but appeared in two television series in 1951 before the end of his career.[3] In 1950, after finishing his role of Cardinal Gaspar de Quiroga onstage in That Lady, Stephenson retired from the stage.

Family[edit]

He married actress Ann Shoemaker; the couple had one daughter. Henry Stephenson died in 1956, aged 85. He was survived by his wife and their daughter.[3]

Selected filmography[edit]

Henry Stephenson in Marie Antoinette (1938)
Henry Stephenson (middle) in Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936); with C. Aubrey Smith (left) and Walter Kingsford (right)

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Henry Stephenson profile, MatinneClassics.com; accessed 19 September 2014.
  2. ^ Henry Stephenson at the Internet Broadway Database
  3. ^ a b c d e IMDb profile; accessed 19 September 2014.